Intrinsic review by The Contortionist

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  • Released: Jul 17, 2012
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (30 votes)
The Contortionist: Intrinsic
3

Sound — 8
"Intrinsic" is the sophomore effort from the Indiana group The Contortionist. Made up of vocalist/keyboardist Jonathan Carpenter, guitarists Roby Baca and Cameron Maynard, bassist Chris Tilley, and drummer Joey Baca, you get The Contortionist. The Contortionist made their LP debut with the record "Exolpanet" back in 2010. "Exoplanet" is still one of my favorite records and as they announced they were working on a new record I was immediately excited to see where the band would be headed on this release. So did "Intrinsic" top their debut album? Keep on reading. "Intrinsic" is a weird record. It is musically better than it's predecessor and right now I really like the album. The one fatal flaw to this record is the production. I bought the CD and was saddened to find tons of clipping. I cranked it up on my headphones and right out the gate there was the annoying pops and cracks of clipping. When I listened through my Rokit 5 monitors I got the same result. On a good day I won't notice the clipping. On a day when I am concentrating on the music it will pop up quite a bit. It's not on just one track either. The clipping is consistent throughout the record. Don't let the issue of shoddy production sway you away from purchasing this album though. "Intrinsic" is as good as "Exoplanet" was. It retains a lot of the same elements that made "Exoplanet" one of the best records. The slow atmospheric parts are still there. The technical rhythms and the phenomenal bass work. "Intrinsic" is heavy as hell too. The one place where "Intrinsic" really stands out is the bass work. Christopher Tilley is not the kind of bassist that sits back and plays along with the guitars the whole time. Key examples of his work are the ending sludge section of the intro track "Holomovement" right into the bass intro for the next track "Feedback Loop". The outro to "Anatomy Anomalies" is also a spot where bass gets to shine. I will retain that this is musically better than "Exoplanet", but it does fall a little flat upon the first few listens. "Exoplanet" had a vibe to it. Almost like the feeling of being on an adventure. Intrinsic does not have that vibe at all. I would say on the first few listens, Intrinsic would seem like a random assembly of songs. A random assembly of very good songs.

Lyrics — 8
Jonathan Carpenter is a beast on vocals. His screams are the driving force of the heavier sections of this record and his singing is like the icing on the cake. He is a bit monotone on "Intrinsic", but he is still one of the key driving points of The Contortionist.

Overall Impression — 8
As the second LP to come from The Contortionist I am really happy with what "Intrinsic" delivered. If I have to knock of some points because of crap production value then so be it. "Intrinsic" is still shaping up to be one of the better releases of the year. Buy this album and support this band.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Skyvalve2012
    To Epiexplorer....do you seriously criticize EVERY kind of music? I am a huge progressive metal fan (and an recent fan of the Contortionist), and honestly, you think everything is cliche this, boring that... Not every bit of music can be what you want. learn it bub!
    mr7string
    EpiExplorer wrote: Clearly sounds like a rip of Cynic.. sounds nothing like Isis at all.
    I can see the Cynic influence but claiming The Contortionist 'ripped them off' is retarded.
    Skyvalve2012
    Also to epi....i respect your opinion on deathcore...its nu metal all over again....but can you please admit some deathcore (like these guys) are trying to be original?
    Redfinton22
    Skyvalve2012 wrote: i have a song by Fallujiah...they're pretty crazy. have you heard of Silent Descent or Last Chance 2 Reason...two of my favoirte synth metal bands.
    Last Chance To Reason kicks ASS dude! And they probably get the least amount of recognition for the amount of talent they have..
    EpiExplorer
    Skyvalve2012 wrote: Also to epi....i respect your opinion on deathcore...its nu metal all over again....but can you please admit some deathcore (like these guys) are trying to be original?
    Check out these bands: Ascariasis Fallujiah Ion Dissonance
    boratian
    I have to agree with Epi, I feel the exact same way towards these guys. I like literally one song off of Exoplanet and everything else just does nothing for me
    a drummer
    Agree with Epi...Somewhat. They would seperate from the pack more with a better vocalist. His lows are boring and generic and his clean singing is just bland. It's good, and I like the band alot, but the vocals are lacking.
    Graves At Sea
    EpiExplorer wrote: Skyvalve2012 wrote: Also to epi....i respect your opinion on deathcore...its nu metal all over again....but can you please admit some deathcore (like these guys) are trying to be original? Check out these bands: Ascariasis
    The simple fact that you mentioned them is enough for me. This guy clearly gets it.
    mr7string
    This EpiExplorer guy is impossible to please, dont think iv seen him post a positive review about anything. But thats besides the point. Personally Exoplanet was one of the biggest albums of 2010, it completely changed the way i looked at music. Intrinsic is a whole new sound compared to Exoplanet, it could be a completely different band if you didnt know, and that is a huge point to consider when reviewing this album. Personally i prefer Exoplanet if i had to choose, i feel the only thing Intrinsic lacks is those huge melodic sections that stick with you for days (Primal Directive, Flourish Oscillator ect ect) But i still feel it is an amazing album. 8/10
    BuriedAlive7x
    I don't care what anyone says....this album is EPIC from start to finish!!! It has a similar style as Wavering Radiant by ISIS, which I like.
    Skyvalve2012
    recently looked at your favorite bands and skills. hope i don not offend you....i just get defensive over my favorite music...my bad
    EpiExplorer
    Everyone raves about this band like they're some kind of collective genius of musical ideas, but aside from writing some spectactular intro's to their songs and actually having some influence (or should I say, complete mimicry of the style) from Cynic, everything just fulls flat as soon as they move on to heavier sections. Like Holomovement for instance: Starts off well, incredibly in fact, but as soon as it reaches around 1:20, then the bullshit arrives. Clean vocals are also weak, Cynic gets away with having a pronounced vocal track due to using a vocoder, but whoevers singing on this is reeeally quiet and the lyrics aren't as well written as they could be (themes are decent).
    EpiExplorer
    Skyvalve2012 wrote: i have a song by Fallujiah...they're pretty crazy. have you heard of Silent Descent or Last Chance 2 Reason...two of my favoirte synth metal bands.
    Silent Descent are pretty bad tbh. All inhales, Generic riffing, synths, clean vocals etc. Instead I'd recommend Blood Stain Child or Illidiance.
    EpiExplorer
    BuriedAlive7x wrote: I don't care what anyone says....this album is EPIC from start to finish!!! It has a similar style as Wavering Radiant by ISIS, which I like.
    Clearly sounds like a rip of Cynic.. sounds nothing like Isis at all.
    Skyvalve2012
    i have a song by Fallujiah...they're pretty crazy. have you heard of Silent Descent or Last Chance 2 Reason...two of my favoirte synth metal bands.
    Skyvalve2012
    Redfinton22...at least you respect prog for what it is. LC2R i just recently got into...nintendo metal/prog metal at its finest!
    Magero
    Never thought I'd agreed with Epi, but yeah. Ascariasis and Fallujah both released music that kicked the shit out of Intrinsic. I love Exoplanet, but this album is so amazingly directionless. I love so many of the riffs, but it's all so... crudely stuck together, like a child's paper mach project. Hoping the next album is much more interesting.
    Skyvalve2012
    Well, we all have our own opinions.... if you dont mind, could you check out my profile? I was going to post some stuff the next week or two..